With a week to go before the 2010 mid-term elections, this question may have crossed minds, especially in tighter congressional races in places with an Amish population.
During the last two presidential elecations, a number of media stories were done on the Amish and voting, especially with key battleground states Ohio and Pennsylvania having been in play.
Indeed George Bush campaigned among Amish in Ohio and Pennsylvania during his 2004 re-election bid. In 2008 at least one correspondent found decreased enthusiasm for John McCain’s presidential campaign. This year I have yet to see any pieces done on the potential for Amish participation in the mid-term elections.
Amish electoral participation
The most recent examination of the Amish and voting patterns is found in the book An Amish Paradox: Diversity and Change in the World’s Largest Amish Community, an in-depth look at the Holmes County, Ohio Amish settlement (read an interview with authors Charles Hurst and David McConnell).
Amish voting rates tend to be low, but when they do vote, it is generally supposed that they favor candidates from the Republican party. In An Amish Paradox Hurst and McConnell note that “An Old Order Amish man, now deceased, used to joke that he could count the Amish who supported Democrats on one hand” (Paradox, p 31). Interestingly, Ohio’s 16th and 18th districts, which take in the Holmes/Wayne County community, are currently both held by Democrats.
Read more on the Amish and voting, including on Amish voter registration and objections Amish have to voting.
photo credit: mar is sea Y/FlickrLooking for more good reading on the Amish? Check out our list of best Amish books.